Washington state distributes news by e-mail

Residents can get updates on everything from public policy to new job listings to ecology regulations

Washington state has launched an e-mail news service for government agencies to distribute news to subscribers.

Citizens can sign up for the free listserv and receive state government news for a particular topic that interests them.

"It's a great way to the information out to the right people, said Darlene Kosoff, enterprise business solutions manager for the Washington's Department of Information Services, which runs the listserv.

All Washington state and local government agencies can own a list, as well as businesses that work with the state. Listservs are typically $35 per month, but if a particular group wants several, the cost decreases.

Currently, there are 15 lists to choose from, ranging from state public policy (with more than 300 subscribers) and ecology law and regulations (more than 1,000 subscribers) to the Washington State Diversity Outreach Network for Employers, Advocate Groups and Job Seekers.

Kosoff said several departments plan to buy more listservs, breaking down news into specific groups. The owner of the listserv is wholly responsible for its content, although members can respond and start discussions through the service. Most of the discussions are monitored, Kosoff said, so they don't get "out of hand."

Kosoff said she expects the number of available lists to grow quickly.

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